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FAQs

Below are some commonly asked questions about studying and living in New Zealand.

  • Before you enrol at a Private Training Establishment (including English language schools), check that it’s registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, that its programme is approved and that the organisation is accredited. 

    You can do that at www.nzqa.govt.newzealand/studying-in-new-zealand/tertiaryeducation/choosing-an-educational-provider/

    (Institutes of technology and polytechnics, universities and wānanga are set up separately by government legislation and follow different rules.)

    Registration with NZQA ensures that the school provides a sound and stable learning environment.

    NZQA programme approval confirms that a programme is based on clear and consistent aims, content, outcomes and assessment practices which lead to a recognised qualification. 

    An NZQA accreditation confirms that the organisation can deliver an approved programme.

    You should also check with NZQA to see if the school has had an external evaluation and review (EER) recently. EER is a periodic evaluation of a tertiary education organisation. It provides an independent judgement of the organisation’s educational performance and capability in self-assessment. 

    Finally, you should check that your school has signed up to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

    Different courses and institutions have different requirements, so you really need to
    check with the institution you’re interested in applying for. But generally:


    School

    In New Zealand schools, a beginner level of English may be enough in the lower grades. In Years 11-13 (NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3), students need the equivalent of around IELTS 5.0 to 5.5 in order to achieve the required academic standards. Schools will test international students’ grasp of English on admission and, if necessary, provide options for additional English language tuition.

    At school level in New Zealand’s education system, a beginner’s level of English is usually enough. Schools will generally test international students’ grasp of English and if necessary enter them into an intensive English language course before admitting them.

    Tertiary
    Most tertiary institutions require you to have a reasonably good grasp of English – that’s defined in more detail below.The New Zealand Qualifications Authority has established minimum English language standards to study tertiary programmes in New Zealand. These vary according to the level at which you study. Please note that these are minimum levels; the English language requirements for individual programmes and institutions may be higher.  

    Programme

    Level

     

    English Proficiency Outcomes

     

    IELTS Test

    TOEFL Paper-based Test (pBT)

    TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT)

    University of Cambridge ESOL examinations

    New Zealand Certificate in English Language

    Certificate at Level 3

    Score of 5 with no band score lower than 5

    Score of 500 (with an essay score of 4 TWE)

    Score of 61 or higher (with a writing score of 20)

    FCE or CAE with a score of 41 or higher

    Level 3 with an endorsement of either General, Workplace, or Academic

    Certificate at Level 4

    Score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5

    Score of 530 (with an essay score of 4.5 TWE)

    Score of 71 or higher (with a writing score of 20)

    FCE or CAE with a score of 47 or higher

    Level 3 with an endorsement of either General, Workplace, or Academic

    Certificate or Diploma at Level 5

    Score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5

    Score of 550 (with an essay score of 5 TWE)

    Score of 79 or higher (with a writing score of 20)

    FCE or CAE with a score of 47 or higher

    Level 4 with the Academic endorsement

    Certificate or Diploma at Level 6 or 7

     

    Degree

     

    Graduate Certificate or Diploma

    Score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5

     

    Score of 550 (with an essay score of 5 TWE)

    Score of 79 or higher (with a writing score of 20)

    FCE or CAE with a score of 52 or higher

    Level 4 with the Academic endorsement

    Postgraduate

    Score of 6.5 with no band score lower than 6

    Score of 590 (with an essay score 5.5 TWE)

    Score of 90 or higher (with a writing score of 21)

    CAE with a score of 58 or higher or CPE with a score of 45 or higher

    Level 5 with the Academic endorsement


    Universities and many Institutes of Technology
    Many tertiary institutions offer bridging or foundation courses for international students who need help to meet English and academic course  entry requirements. There are also many specialist English language schools. Most start from beginner level - for people who can say “hello” and “goodbye”. 

    For absolute beginners with no previous English language experience, private tuition can be arranged. 

    For details of those offering recognised qualifications, search for organisations at www.nzqa.govt.nz

    Student Visa English language requirements
    There are no English language requirements for getting a Student Visa. However, some institutions have specific English language requirements you must prove you can meet before they will make you an Offer of Place (and you must have an offer to apply for a Student Visa).

    Most institutions will ask for original documents or certified photocopies of one of the following:

    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) band score of 6 with no
      band less than 5.5. IELTS is used at many tertiary institutions in the United Kingdom,
      Australia, New Zealand and North America. It assesses your ability to read, write,
      speak and listen in academic or general training contexts. It is developed and
      managed by the University of Cambridge, the British Council and IDP Education
      Australia.
    • A pass in English in the New Zealand Bursary examination or NCEA Level 3.
    • A pass in English in the General Certificate of Education (GCE) 'O' level examination
    • A TOEFL (Princeton Test of English as a Foreign Language) paper test (not the
      computer test) score of 550 and a TWE (Test of Written English) score of 4
      (paper-based test) or 213, Essay rating 4.0 (Computer-based test).
    • Grade C3 or above in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) English 322
    • Some other recognised English proficiency test.
    • Talk to your institution about their exact requirements as these may be higher for
      particular courses and levels of study
      .New Zealand has some of the highest
      teacher-to-student ratios in the world. It means teachers can provide the personal
      attention that is so important for successful learning - especially for international
      students in unfamiliar surroundings.

    New Zealand has some of the highest teacher-to-student ratios in the world. It means teachers can provide the personal attention that is so important for successful learning - especially for international students in unfamiliar surroundings. 

    Schools
    In primary schools, there’s approximately one teacher to 23-39 students.

    In the early years at secondary school, on average there’s one teacher for every 23 students, falling progressively to one teacher for 17 students by the time they reach Year 13.

    Tertiary
    Class sizes at University tertiary level vary but in general, contact teaching hours are relatively high. Many international students comment on how accessible and friendly they find teaching staff here.A number of scholarships are available to help international students fund their tertiary studies in New Zealand, at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels.  

    Tertiary
    Start dates and holidays at tertiary level vary widely depending on the institution and course you choose. Please check with your agent or the institution you’re considering.

    Secondary Schooling
    A school day normally starts at 9am and runs to 3:30pm (primary schools finish at 3pm). Most schools operate Monday to Friday though some schools have lessons or sports for part of Saturday as well.

    Outside the classroom, schools have their own expectations regarding homework. Generally in Years 9 and 10, students would be expected to do an hour’s homework a night, rising through Years 11 to 13.

    The secondary school year starts in early February and runs to mid-December. 
    It’s divided into four terms with two weeks' break between each them and a six-week break at the end of the year.

    • Term 1: February to mid- April - 2 week break
    • Term 2: Late April to early July - 2 week break
    • Term 3: Mid-July to late September - 2 week break
    • Term 4: Mid-October to mid-December - 6 week summer holiday
  • Applying to study in New Zealand involves three main steps:

    1. Visit www.studyinnewzealand.com where there’s a list of all the schools, universities and other education institutions in New Zealand. Look around and choose the one that best suits you and your situation or talk to your local education agent.

    2. Complete and return any application forms required. While you can often do most of this online, you’ll still need to post or courier some documents, such as:

    • Certified copies of academic certificates and transcripts 
    • Proof that you can meet the institution’s English language requirements
    • A recent résumé or curriculum vitae.

    Note you may need to provide certified translations of some of these documents.

    Once you’ve been accepted, the institution will send you an ‘Offer of Place’ that confirms your course details and the start dates. You’ll also receive an invoice, as you need to pay your tuition fees before you can apply for a visa. You can make this payment through your local education agent or directly with the institution.

    3. If your course is less than 12 weeks long, you’ll need only a visitor visa to come to New Zealand. However, if you plan to study for more than 12 weeks you’ll need to apply for a Student Visa by post or at your nearest Immigration New Zealand Branch.

    Remember to take with you:

    • The Offer of Place from your educational institution (note the institution must be
      registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority)
    • If you're under 18 years old, a written guarantee from the institution or another
      person that suitable accommodation is available to you in New Zealand
    • Proof that you have enough money for living costs while studying
    • A return airline ticket to your home country, or proof that you have enough money to buy one.

    You can get more information about all these requirements at www.immigration.govt.nz

    Here’s how the process works out in practice:

    RESEARCH: Find the New Zealand school, University or tertiary institution you’re interested in.

    APPLICATION: Complete and return the application forms.

    ACCEPTANCE: Once you’ve been accepted, the institution will send you an ‘Offer of Place letter.

    VISA: If you plan to study for more than 12 weeks, apply for a student visa. If you’re staying for 12 weeks or less, you only need a visitor visa.

    PLAN: Let the institution know when you’re arriving so they can expect you and help you with accommodation and travel advice.The criteria for entry to tertiary study vary, depending on the institution.

    Generally, you’ll need to show evidence of qualifications that make you suitable to study at this level, such as:

    • A New Zealand 'B' Bursary or better, or NCEA Level 3
    • GCSE 'A' Levels
    • STPM (Malaysia)
    • Hong Kong 'A' Levels
    • Australian Matriculation Year 12 Certificate
    • Canadian Pre-University Programme
    • Latin American students entry is determined by the institution.

    The institution will advise you if it wants you to have your qualification assessed
    by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. This costs NZ$450 and takes up to 8 weeks.

    Download the form at www.nzqa.govt.nz

  • Don’t pack too heavy - before you begin packing, make sure you check your airline’s policy about luggage size, weight, allowable items and any other rules. Most airlines allow about 20 kilograms for luggage, plus 7 kilograms for any bags you carry onto the plane (cabin bags) but do check with your particular airline.                                                         

    Medicines - If you need to bring medicines into New Zealand, here’s what we recommend:

    • Keep medicine in the original, labelled containers
    • Bring copies of any prescriptions and the common names for the medicine
    • Get a note from your doctor explaining your need to take the medicine.

    Some medicines are illegal in New Zealand. The Customs staff at the airport may want information about any medicine you have with you. If you have any doubts that the medicine you take may not be legal in New Zealand, you should check with the New Zealand Embassy in your home country.

    Security - Your luggage will need to go through security clearances during your journey, and you and your bags may be searched when you arrive in New Zealand. Be sure to pack your own bags and know the contents of your luggage. Label all your bags with your name and contact details.

    Packing checklist - here’s a checklist to help you pack for New Zealand.


    Clothing

    • New Zealanders dress for the occasion, so we recommend you bring a range of clothes – from formal to informal
    • A selection of general clothing, such as jeans, t-shirts, socks, shoes and underwear
    • Light clothes for summer, like shorts, skirts, caps and sandals
    • Warm clothes for winter – particularly if you want to go skiing – such as jerseys, jacket and hat
    • A suit or smart clothing for job interviews and events
    • Casual clothing for outdoor recreation activities

    Electronic equipment

    • Laptop or notebook computer
    • Mobile phone
    • Adaptors for New Zealand’s electric sockets (if you are bringing electronic devices). You can also buy adapters when you get to New Zealand
    • Camera for capturing all your awesome experiences!

    Things to remind you of home

    • Recipes for your favourite dishes
    • Familiar items from home, e.g. favourite music, books and DVDs
    • Photos of your family and friends
    • A book with photos and facts about your home country

    Other things

    •  If you wear glasses, pack an extra pair and bring your glasses or contact lens prescription
    • Toiletries
    • A good dictionary (if English is not your first language)
    • Souvenirs to give new friends
    • National dress
    For your cabin bag
    • Passport and airline tickets
    • Change of clothing (at least underwear), toothbrush and other personal items you might need if your luggage is delayed or lost or you are kept waiting for a flight
    • Warm sweater or jacket
    • Travellers’ cheques and/or bank cards
    • Enough cash for your first week (NZ$200-$300)
    •  Important personal documents (keep a copy of these in a separate bag)
    • Contact details for your family and your institution
    • Address of where you will be staying in New Zealand
    • A pen to fill out documents for arrival

    What not to pack?
    New Zealand has very strict laws on what you can bring into the country.
    You must not bring in:

    • Any animals or insects (alive or dead)
    • Feathers
    • Shells
    • Plants
    • Flowers
    • Fresh foods, including meat
    • Some packaged goods, such as certain cheeses.

    If you have any of the above, you must declare them to Customs when you arrive. All food items brought into New Zealand, even the smallest amounts, need to be declared. Failure to declare could result in a fine or prosecution. There are also limits on quantities that you can bring in.

    To find out more about what you can and cannot bring in, check online at www.biosecurity.govt.nz. Remember to tell friends and family about New Zealand’s strict laws if they are sending or bringing you parcels.

    Power to you
    If you are bringing your own electrical devices to New Zealand, you may need a power plug adaptor. These can be easily found in electronics and airport shops. New Zealand power outlets accept power plugs with three flat pins, one of which is an earthing pin (this is simply a safety measure). Some power plugs don't have the earthing pin but they still fit into the power outlets.

    With so many things to do and spectacular places to see, you’ll want to do as much exploring as your time away from study allows. 

    Travelling around New Zealand is easy. For holidays, most people drive and self-drive rentals are easily available, or you can take one of the bus and coach services that connect most centres.

    The road network covers the whole country, although you may find our roads are more narrow and windy than you’re used to. The North and South Island road systems are linked by the Interislander and Bluebridge car and passenger ferries, a 2½ hour ferry trip taking in the picturesque Marlborough sounds.

    Railways are limited, although there are some services between main centres which offer a great way to see some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery.

    New Zealanders frequently fly. Airports make every part of the country accessible, from Kaitaia Airport in the far north to Ryan’s Creek Aerodrome on Stewart Island. One way domestic air travel tickets between the main centres can cost as little as NZ$59.

  • Life in New Zealand is safe and secure, and we enjoy one of the most well-balanced lifestyles in the world.

    In fact, when the Economist Intelligence Unit measured which countries provide the best opportunities for a healthy, safe and prosperous life, New Zealand was in its top ten best places to be born in 2013.

    New Zealanders are friendly and typically welcoming to newcomers. We’re great international travellers ourselves, and nearly a quarter of us were born outside New Zealand. Around 10% of New Zealanders are of Asian ethnic origin.

    That all adds up to a warm welcome. In fact, nine out of ten migrants find that the welcome they receive when they first arrive meets or exceeds their expectations, according to a recent Immigration New Zealand survey.

    International students enjoy the added support and protection provided by our Code of Practice for the care of students. The Code, the world’s first, sets standards for how educational institutions must support international students in and out of the classroom.

    Every educational institution must sign up to the Code of Practice before they can accept international students. As part of that, they must have staff on hand who are experienced in helping international students solve any problems and settle into their new home. The Code also ensures that the financial investment in their education is protected.You’ll have plenty of living options. From apartments in the city to homestays in the countryside, you’ll find something that suits you and your study needs. 

    Safe and secure
    We’re rated in international surveys as one of the world’s most peaceful countries. We’re also rated the least corrupt.  New Zealand is the world’s third safest place, according to the 2013 Global Peace Index. People in New Zealand feel safe to come and go and enjoy everything our country has to offer.

    You will be able to move freely and without fear, so you can enjoy all New Zealand has to offer. We don’t even have any seriously dangerous wildlife for you to worry about.

    Balanced lifestyle
    Good living in New Zealand is about balancing an honest day’s study or work with social fun. New Zealanders spend time with friends or family and take advantage of all the recreational opportunities available here.

    The pace of life here is less stressed. And there are all sorts of opportunities to get outdoors and be as physical as you want - from lazing on an uncrowded beach to getting close to nature in the bush or hooping it down a mountain bike track. 

    You can experience the outdoors no matter where you choose to live.

    There’s a lively arts scene with a lot going on in music, theatre, film and comedy. And you get a good amount of public holidays so there’s plenty of time to enjoy all the great things New Zealand has to offer.

    Hit the water
    If you enjoy being in, on or under the water, you will be in your element here in New Zealand. New Zealand is geographically long and skinny so wherever you choose to live you’re never more than 100km or so from the sea. Our beaches are usually sandy, the water quality is great, and there’s some great surf to be found.

    There are many rivers and lakes, especially in the South Island, and plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, kite boarding and canoeing. There’s great sailing too, including in Auckland, our ‘City of Sails’. In some countries these sorts of activities are only accessible to those with deep pockets, but not in New Zealand.

    Get into the countryside
    You’re also never far from countryside and the New Zealand bush. Nearly a third of our land area is in national parks or other protected areas ideal for tramping (trekking), hunting, camping and holidays with friends.  Even the cities offer huge natural reserves ideal for walking, picnicking or mountain biking. New Zealand has some of the most spectacular cycling trails in the world. New Zealand is famous for its mountains, especially the Southern Alps, and there’s good winter skiing in both islands, not to mention climbing.

    There are so many ways you can indulge your favourite past-time (or try something new).

    New adventures
    Adventure is in our DNA – after all, we are the people who invented bungee jumping, black-water rafting and zorbing. Thousands of everyday Kiwis, men and women, train for and compete in endurance events. They include our most famous triathlon of all, the Coast to Coast, where competitors cross the South Island’s Tasman shore, race over the Southern Alps then down to the Pacific shore in Christchurch.

    Film, music, comedy
    If film is your thing, you won’t miss out here - remember, we nurtured Peter Jackson, Director of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Towns and cities have cinemas large and small screening family blockbusters, international art house movies and the products of the surprisingly strong local film-making industry.

    Kiwi popular music is strong - from rock and reggae to dub and hip-hop - while world music fans flock to the World of Music Arts and Dance (WOMAD) festival held annually in New Plymouth’s beautiful Brooklands Bowl. Many major rock and pop acts tour to our larger cities, and the smaller scale of our venues means you often get more of a close-up experience than you would in huge stadiums elsewhere.

    Arts and drama
    New Zealand has excellent galleries and museums to explore in most centres, a world-class national orchestra and strong regional orchestras. All the main centres have professional theatre companies and there are national ballet and opera companies.

    Both Wellington and Auckland host international arts festivals in alternate years attracting big-name acts, and there are a host of other local and speciality festivals. Among them is the World of Wearable Arts festival, an exuberant celebration of inventiveness in the textile arts that sells out annually.

    Food glorious food
    We really enjoy our food, and we make the most of the vast range that is produced on our doorstep and delivered fresh to our supermarkets.  We’re major producers of pasture-fed lamb, venison and beef. Seafood, dairy products, fruit and vegetables are abundant and are about the same price as what you'd expect in your home country.

    Reflecting our increasingly multi-cultural society you’ll find a good and growing range of ethnic restaurants and food outlets (with plenty of organic options), particularly in our cities.

    Technically, New Zealand has a temperate climate which means relatively mild, wet winters and warm dry summers. We don’t get great extremes between seasons - no weeks of baking heat or months of being snowbound.

    The warmest part of New Zealand is the north, and temperatures go down as you travel south. 

    Being such a long and skinny country, there are wide variations. The far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10°C (14°F) in winter. However, most of our cities and towns are on or near the coast, which means they avoid the extremes.

    You can check out the average weather temperatures by region at www.newzealand.com/int/feature/new-zealand-climate-and-weather/

    As New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, our seasons are opposite to those in the northern half of the world.

    Summer: December - February
    Summer in New Zealand is moderate to hot, with temperatures hovering around 20-30 degrees Celsius. In most places you can wear shorts and a t-shirt or singlet during the day, adding a light jumper at night.

    Autumn/Fall: March - May
    Temperatures during this time are a little cooler than summer but the weather can be excellent. Suitable clothing includes light pants or shorts, and a t-shirt or long-sleeved top. It can cool off at night more during this season, so make sure you are prepared with a warm sweater.

    Winter: June - August
    Winter in New Zealand brings colder weather to much of the country, with snow in the south and rain in the north. Temperatures generally range between 10-15ºC (50-60°F). You’ll need jeans, long-sleeved tops and coats in most places, and if you’re heading into the mountains thermals, gloves and thick sweaters are also a good idea.

    Spring: September - November
    Spring brings weather of all types - expect everything from cold, frosty, clear days to sunny and hot. Make sure you are prepared for this type of weather if you are visiting during this time. Jeans are good and layers work well on top, as they can be added and removed depending on what the weather brings.

    How will I keep in touch with home?

    In New Zealand you’ve got lots of options for keeping touch with your family and friends back home. They include phone calls (on a landline or mobile), text messaging, email, Skype and the post.

    Landline phones
    Landline toll calls are easy; you just dial 00 before your country code. If you’re in a homestay, make sure you ask your host family before you call and be aware that some homes have a toll bar to prevent expensive calls. (Landline calls within a city are free.)

    Mobile phones
    Text messaging and mobile phone calls are very popular with students here. You can use global roaming on a mobile phone that you bring from home, buy a prepay phone here, or set up an account with a local mobile service provider once you're in New Zealand.

    You have a choice of mobile phone providers, and their rates all vary - but just as an example, you could call someone in Malaysia on either a landline or a mobile, talk for up to 2 hours and pay no more than NZ$5. 

    The main mobile phone companies are Telecom, Vodafone, 2degrees and Skinny mobile

    Internet
    When it comes to email and the internet in general, New Zealand is one of the most wired nations on earth, ahead of the UK, the USA and every country in Asia. Universities, schools and public libraries often have computers you can use to access email for free and there are lots of internet cafes. They generally charge a few dollars for 15 minutes’ use.

    Most of the country is covered by 3G mobile broadband, and 4G is becoming available in the main centres - Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown through one provider. However, some rural areas still rely on dialup.

    Skype is also popular in New Zealand as a cost-effective way to keep in touch with people around the world. 

    Post
    New Zealand has lots of letterboxes and Post Offices where you can send physical mail. You can buy stamps at supermarkets, stationery shops and local shops. New Zealand Post Shops are open Monday to Friday, 9pm to 5pm, also Saturdays and Sundays in some places. Post Shops offer international courier and fax services. 

    Mail is delivered to your street address, so if you move you need to tell the Post Office.

    To study in New Zealand, you must have medical and travel insurance that meets the standards of our Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. The insurance must cover you for the duration of your New Zealand Student Visa.

    Your insurance will need to cover all aspects of purely medical conditions including doctors, hospitals, ambulance and specialist treatments. 

    Fortunately, New Zealand is generally a very safe place to travel with few endemic diseases (e.g. no malaria) and good public services like water and sanitation. Tertiary students can see a doctor at the student health centre on their institution’s campus, for a very reasonable fee.

    Getting treatment for injuries suffered in an accident is different however.

    New Zealand has a no-fault accident compensation scheme called ACC (after the organisation that administers it, the Accident Compensation Corporation). 

    You’re unlikely to have anything like ACC in your country - it’s virtually unique.

    ACC covers everyone in New Zealand, including visitors, who suffer any injury in an accident. That can be a road accident, a skiing injury or a slip, trip or fall on campus or wherever you’re living.

    Whatever the cause and whoever is at fault (even if it’s you), you will get subsidised medical and dental care, prescribed medication, X-rays and surgery. ACC does mean however that you can’t sue anyone for damages.

    Obviously, you should take the same care with your personal safety as you would in any other country, or at home. 

    In an emergency, the number to call in New Zealand is 111.

    On top of the four weeks’ leave that people in work enjoy, New Zealanders have up to 10 national public holidays a year (although some may fall in a weekend). Each of the various regions in New Zealand (known as provinces) has an additional public holiday to itself through the year.

    When you get your New Zealand student ID card, you’ll benefit from many student discounts available in the area you choose to live. There’s more information at www.studyzone.co.nz/life/discounts.php

    ISIC cards (International Student Identity Cards) are available for NZ$25. They give you discounts on getting around New Zealand, accommodation and activities and more. Find out more at www.isiccard.co.nz/

    You can also buy student discount cards from various companies for around $20 - check out StudentCard and Training Card at www.studentcard.co.nz/

    New Zealand is a modern, secular, democratic society. Religion is seen as a matter of personal choice and human rights law guarantees you freedom from discrimination, whatever your belief.

    Major cities have churches, temples, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship for a wide range of faiths. 

    While over half of New Zealanders identify themselves as being Christian (mainly Anglican,
    Catholic or Presbyterian), around one third of the population say they don’t have a religion.
    There has also been a significant increase in people whose religion is non-Christian in
    recent years.  Hindu, Buddhist, Islam and Spiritualism make up the most significant
    minority religions.
  • You’ll have plenty of living options. From apartments in the city to homestays in the countryside, you’ll find something that suits you and your study needs. 

    A homestay (or private board)
    With a homestay you live with a New Zealand family in their home, usually in a fully furnished room of your own. They’ll provide you with meals and help you to settle in to day-to-day life in New Zealand. 

    A homestay is a great way to get to know some friendly New Zealanders, develop your English skills and get a close-up look at New Zealand’s way of life and culture.

    Halls of residence (or hostel)
    This is a good choice if you’d like to meet new people and live in a secure, safe place. 

    Usually just a walk away from campus, halls of residence offer fully furnished single or twin-share rooms with a shared dining hall, lounge and laundry. Meals are often included and you’ll probably find a lively programme of sport and other fun activities on offer. 

    A number of the larger institutions also provide private hostels that run in a similar way, and some have self-contained apartments (which we call ‘flats’).

    Flatting/independent accommodation
    Flats range from one-bedroom apartments to four- or five-bedroom homes, and can be found just about anywhere - close to cities and campuses or further out in the surrounding suburbs, where you’re more likely to find gardens and car-parking space.

    • Secondary school fees vary by school but generally cost around NZ$13,000 a year.
    • Undergraduate study can cost between NZ$18,000–$25,000 a year, depending on
      what course and institution you choose. 
    • Postgraduate courses can cost up to $40,000. 
    • International doctoral students pay the same fees as domestic students, making
      us one of the best value destinations for doctoral studies in the world.

    On top of the course costs you’ll need to consider the costs of health insurance, travel, and accommodation and living expenses. You’ll have plenty of living options. From apartments in the city to homestays in the countryside, you’ll find something that suits you and your study needs. 

    Comparing living costs is hard. It depends on which country you come from, and what part. It also depends on which part of New Zealand you’re coming to. As is probably the case in your country, big cities are more expensive places to live in than the smaller centres.

    But overall, the costs of living here are comparable to other western-style OECD countries. Some things will cost less, others (particularly items that have had to be imported from long distances) will cost more.

    New Zealand has its own currency, dollars and cents. Here’s what some common items cost in $NZ:

    Big Mac NZ$5.20

    Milk (2 litres) NZ$3.99

    Pair of jeans NZ$60–200

    Movie ticket NZ$12-20

    Cup of coffee (flat white) NZ$4.00         

    42” LED-LCD flat screen TV NZ$700–1500

    The national median rent for a three bedroom house in March 2013 was NZ$360 per week. Student flats start for less than that, generally from NZ$100 a room per week.

    New Zealand money is in dollars and cents. There is a bank branch, or at least an automatic teller machine (ATM), on nearly every tertiary campus. All banks offer phone and internet banking.

    If you're staying more than a few months it's worth opening your own bank account. Some banks let you open an account before you arrive in New Zealand. You can transfer your money into your account so that it’s waiting for you when you arrive. 

    You can also use the Fund Transfer Scheme set up by Immigration New Zealand to transfer your funds. For more information, refer to the Immigration New Zealand website www.immigration.govt.nz. 

    There’s usually a fee for every bank transaction, including EFTPOS, the standard electronic payment method. Make sure you get advice from your bank about which account and fee structure will be best for you. Most banks offer special packages for full-time students.

    You can bring as much foreign currency as you like into New Zealand, but if it’s more than NZ$10,000 you need to declare it to Customs. Most overseas currencies are easily exchanged at New Zealand banks. 

    Are scholarships available to help me study in New Zealand?
    A number of scholarships are available to help international students fund their tertiary studies in New Zealand, at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels.

    They are available from a wide range of sources including the New Zealand government, the educational institutions themselves, foreign governments, philanthropic organisations and private sources. 

    Search for a scholarship on the study in New Zealand site.

  • New Zealand is looking for smart, motivated people who can take our country forward. That’s why we give international students opportunities to stay on and work in New Zealand for up to four years after they finish studying. You may even be able to gain residence and the right to live here permanently. 

    If you have the skills that New Zealand urgently needs, your chances of getting a work visa or permanent residence will be even better. To find out more, take a look at the government’s Skill Shortage List at www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/working-in-nz/great-job-opportunities.

    There are two stages to applying to work in New Zealand once you graduate:

    1. If you don’t have a job, you can apply for a Graduate Job Search Work visa. This gives you up to 12 months to get a job that’s related to your studies. If you need to, you can get a temporary job while you’re looking. 

    2. Once you get a job, or if you have one when you graduate, you can apply for a Graduate Work Experience visa. This lets you work in New Zealand, in a specific job and for a specific employer, for two more years while you gain experience in your field of study. You can stay for three years if you need to as part of a professional registration. At that point, you may be able to apply for residency.

    For more about the visa requirements, visit www.immigration.govt.nz.If you are a full-time tertiary student or a year 12 or 13 secondary school student, you may be able to work while you study. But before you start, you must have official permission which is granted as a ‘variation’ of the conditions of your visa from Immigration New Zealand.

    You can apply for a variation when you apply for your student visa. You can also apply for a variation  or later, after your student visa has been granted.

    A variation lets you work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year or full-time during the Christmas/New Year summer holidays. 

    Even if you work for more than one employer, 20 hours total is the maximum each week. The only exception is if you’re required to work as a part of your qualification. For example, if you’re required to complete a set number of hours of practical experience as part of your course work. That could be added to the 20 hours.

    To find out more visit http://nzstudywork.immigration.govt.nz

    While it’s not a boom time for jobs, it’s not a bad time either and there are opportunities in just about every sector in New Zealand. 

    But there are also some specific skills that New Zealand urgently needs. These are posted in the government’s Skill Shortage Lists. If you have any of those skills you could find it a lot easier getting a work or resident visa. You can check out the Skills Shortages lists by using your search engine to search for ‘New Zealand government skills shortage lists’ or by visiting the Immigration New Zealand website 

    If your skills aren’t on the Lists it may still be possible to stay on. For instance, you may be able to apply for residency as a Skilled Migrant.

    For more information visit the Immigration New Zealand website for different jobs in New Zealand vary widely. 

    To get a feel for what established workers get paid, visit www.seek.co.nz.

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